God save the king? As King Charles III prepares for his coronation, the monarch is facing backlash for a variety of reasons — many of which are pegged to his special day.
Charles, 74, took over the throne in September 2022 after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. The late monarch and longest reigning ruler in British history was 96 when she passed.
While the queen’s eldest son has already begun overseeing the U.K. and the Commonwealth, his official coronation will take place on Saturday, May 6. The ceremony will be held at Westminster Abbey and the king will later take his place on the Buckingham Palace balcony alongside his family to mark the beginning of his reign.
The next day, there will be a Coronation Concert and the Coronation Big Lunch, which consists of communities sharing a meal “in a nationwide act of celebration and friendship,” per Buckingham Palace.
The nation will cap off the weekend with a Bank Holiday on Monday, May 8. That day will also be known as the Big Help Out, which will highlight volunteer work across the U.K. organized by The Together Coalition.
Although the event is meant to be one of unity and honor, Charles’ family drama has overshadowed the coronation. In the wake of Prince Harry’s book release earlier this year, the royals have been feuding with Harry, 38, and his wife, Meghan Markle, for their harsh accusations of how the Firm has treated them in the past.
Even though Harry claimed in his memoir, Spare, that his father’s team planted stories about him and his brother, Prince William, in 2019, to get “good press for Pa,” Charles is trying to move past their issues.
“King Charles is a monarch, but he’s also a father,” royal expert Angela Levin exclusively told Us Weekly in February. “He loves Harry. He might not like what he’s doing, but he loves him and there’s a weakness there for him. He doesn’t want to lose him as a son.”
Harry, for his part, revealed in January that he wasn’t ruling out a return to the U.K. to celebrate the king. “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then,” the BetterUp CIO said during an ITV interview. “But, you know, the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they are willing to sit down and talk about it.”
The former military pilot has a big decision to make regarding his attendance for the coronation. According to royal expert Alexander Larman, Harry will alienate his loved ones for good if he forgoes the historic event.
“If he [doesn’t] go to the coronation, he’s essentially saying, ‘I am not gonna have any relationship with my family ever again,’” the journalist exclusively told Us in March, noting that he’d be “amazed” if Harry didn’t make an appearance amid the rift.
Harry’s dynamic with the family, however, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the controversy surrounding Charles’ coronation.
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Scroll down to see all the issues that plague the upcoming event: